Last week I talked about building a legacy of love, and I worry it’s one of those things that we can get very passionate about and just as quickly let fall by the wayside as everyday life gets in the way. My analytical brain wants to create action items and goals to keep from losing this vision, but deep down I know that method can’t be applied to everything. Sometimes we need to just give ourselves room to breath and to be.
It’s hard, if not impossible, to make the intangible tangible, the abstract concrete. Somethings can’t be analyzed, quantified, or made to fit perfectly in our little boxes, but that doesn’t make them any less real or important. It’s usually the opposite.
I can’t share a guidelines or a list of to-dos with you on this one; I wish I could, not only for me, but because I hate throwing something like this out there without steps to help others who want to do the same thing. I would be pissed if someone else did that! All I can share are my thoughts on how I got here and how that should impact the way I move into the future. With that, I’ve decided to share the below, though it’s a bit more raw and vulnerable than I typically go.
It’s very easy and cliché to talk about loving yourself before you can love others, but it’s not something that I’ve truly understood or practiced before. Now, I feel like I’m starting to get it. Even something as silly and simple as hating my body blocks me from my ultimate vision. How can I radiate love to others if I don’t even feel it for myself? Perhaps that’s where the desire to love the unlovable comes from. I’ve convinced myself that because I’m not the ideal size or shape that I have no value, no worth, and am unlovable. I know how badly that feels, and I never want those around me to feel that pain. Action item = learn to love myself.
I’ve censored myself, held back from sharing my thoughts, tempered my opinions so they didn’t seem as strong as I’ve gained weight. I gradually built walls to hide the parts of me that I thought were simply unacceptable for someone who wasn’t a size 6, despite the fact that my weight didn’t change my brain, my heart, my integrity, or anything other than my dress size. My once vibrant and colorful wardrobe became all black, and that represented what was happening on the inside too. How can I make others feel loved for who they are when I can’t even accept myself? Action item = let the real Kristin shine through again. I’ve missed her.
The quest for recognition at work, the constant need to achieve, the desire for status and all the trappings that come with it – could it be that it was all nothing more than my desperate attempts to finally be good enough? Did I think that if I did enough, I would suddenly be worthy? Were those moments of praise the closest to feelings of love I thought I could get? Action item = shift priorities to giving and receving love instead of things and praise.
Those aren’t easy items I can cross of a list, and they’re not the clear roadmap I typically like to have for my life. They are, however, important realizations to keep me moving in the right direction. Sometimes that’s the best we can hope for, and just put our trust in the universe to recognize and reward our intentions.